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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens


to see the ship wafted on her course. It was then calm, radiant
sunset. She lay between us, and the red light; and every taper
line and spar was visible against the glow. A sight at once so
beautiful, so mournful, and so hopeful, as the glorious ship,
lying, still, on the flushed water, with all the life on board her
crowded at the bulwarks, and there clustering, for a moment,
bare-headed and silent, I never saw.

Silent, only for a moment. As the sails rose to the wind, and the
ship began to move, there broke from all the boats three resounding
cheers, which those on board took up, and echoed back, and which
were echoed and re-echoed. My heart burst out when I heard the
sound, and beheld the waving of the hats and handkerchiefs - and
then I saw her!

Then I saw her, at her uncle's side, and trembling on his shoulder.
He pointed to us with an eager hand; and she saw us, and waved her
last good-bye to me. Aye, Emily, beautiful and drooping, cling to
him with the utmost trust of thy bruised heart; for he has clung to
thee, with all the might of his great love!

Surrounded by the rosy light, and standing high upon the deck,
apart together, she clinging to him, and he holding her, they
solemnly passed away. The night had fallen on the Kentish hills
when we were rowed ashore - and fallen darkly upon me.

CHAPTER 58
ABSENCE

It was a long and gloomy night that gathered on me, haunted by the
ghosts of many hopes, of many dear remembrances, many errors, many
unavailing sorrows and regrets.

I went away from England; not knowing, even then, how great the
shock was, that I had to bear. I left all who were dear to me, and
went away; and believed that I had borne it, and it was past. As
a man upon a field of battle will receive a mortal hurt, and
scarcely know that he is struck, so I, when I was left alone with
my undisciplined heart, had no conception of the wound with which
it had to strive.

The knowledge came upon me, not quickly, but little by little, and
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - PinkMonkey.com-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens



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